As it happens I was listening to the Food Programme this week and they were talking about the rise of the blueberry at the expense of native British soft fruits. They're easier to transport, apparently, and have had a good marketing campaign as a superfood*. So I feel most patriotic expounding the virtues of the gooseberry!
And I've made at least one convert. Mr 'Splorer was sceptical at first, having sneaked a raw gooseberry from the fridge. (You can't leave any food lying around in this house without it being snaffled - he blames it on growing up with three brothers. Apparently you had to move pretty fast!) But when I explained that the green ones weren't for eating raw and then made this gooseberry meringue pie, I think I managed to convince him that they are a scrumptious dessert ingredient.
This was a very forgiving recipe. First I had another pastry disaster, but I've decided I just got used to making pastry in sub zero temperatures this winter and I had forgotten how fickle it could be. Then, having made the pie the day before and left it in the fridge, I managed to pretty much freeze it, with bits of cling film forming ugly dark sticky patches on the top of the meringue. But I left it out to defrost and it tasted like nothing had happened. But please note that it looked a little prettier when it came out of the oven!
But prettiness isn't everything - and it tasted great. The sharpness of the gooseberries worked wonderfully with the sweet meringue.
So, all that remains is to give you the recipe. I had the idea all by my lonesome, but luckily the clever people at waitrose.com had had it before me, so I didn't have to make it up as I went along. I used this recipe, only changing it by adding elderflower cordial where it says water to the gooseberries. It didn't taste very elderflowery, so maybe I'd add a bit more next time. Oh, and I only made half the recipe, which actually produced eight portions, rather than the four it should have. That never happens to me!
*There was also an article online if you're interested in the invasion of the blueberry!